At Eastgate Academy we believe play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems and relate to others. We want children to be happy, confident, well rounded individuals with a love of learning.
Our curriculum is organised to provide a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities, which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child. It facilitates the children to gain skills, knowledge and understanding, as they start their educational journey, supporting them to progress from their individual starting points and thus preparing them for life.
We follow the statutory framework for EYFS. Through the seven areas of learning and development, we shape activities and experiences and provide topics that excite and engage the children, building on own interests and developing experiences of the world around them. We acknowledge that all children coming to Eastgate Academy arrive with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure learning opportunities provided, widen their knowledge and understanding of the world.
Our curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the children’s spiritual, social, moral and cultural development. Those children with particular needs, including SEND, are supported appropriately, allowing them to be successful and achieve.
We believe and recognise every child as unique, constantly learning and that they can become capable, resilient, confident and self-assured. In EYFS, we feel positive relationships enable the children to be strong and independent. We believe in a quality environment that stimulates learning and responds to the experiences and needs of the children, helping them to learn and develop in different ways.
At Eastgate Academy, the EYFS offers a curriculum that is broad and balanced, which builds upon the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting point may be. We encourage the children to demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours to learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL).
· Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
· Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;
· Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and have a go.
The three prime areas are crucial for igniting the children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and build upon the children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These areas are:
· Communication & Language
· Physical Development
· Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The four specific areas strengthen and apply to the prime areas and these are:
· Mathematics – sessions are carefully planned using Power Maths.
· Understanding of the World
· Expressive Arts and Design
Phonics is taught daily through Read, Write, Inc. RE is incorporated into the area of Understanding the world through aspects of People and Communities and social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. The fundamentals of British Values are at the heart of our curriculum and are embedded into all aspects of learning.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise and build upon prior learning by providing first hand learning experiences. We allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative critical thinkers, in order to enable them to challenge themselves.
All areas of the EYFS statutory framework are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. Our curriculum intent is achieved by developing a thirst for learning by:
· Planning meaningful learning experiences through purposeful play;
· A mixture of child-initiated activity and adult-led (where we introduce new concepts and knowledge)
· Providing high quality interactions – staff respond to child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through positive interactions.
· Carefully assessing, though observations and using these to inform next steps for learning;
· Developing effective and engaging environments where the children can learn by playing and exploring, being active and creating and thinking critically through our continuous provision;
Staff in EYFS make observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collated on Tapestry. We regularly assess where the children are using the EYFS profile and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment support children to reach their next steps.
Parents are valued as first educators and are actively encouraged to be part of their child’s learning. Strong links are established in order to provide them with the tools to continue, in school learning at home. Staff regularly engage with parents to gauge the children’s interests and achievement at home, as these are an essential part of each child’s learning journey.
From their different starting points, all children will make good progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Knowledge, understanding and skills will be secured and embedded alongside the children’s Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure a successful transition from EYFS to Year 1.
Our EYFS curriculum consistently leads to good outcomes and results for the pupils at Eastgate Academy. Children with additional learning needs make good progress across the curriculum in line with their own progress measures. Assessments of these children are in smaller and achievable steps. Essential skills to develop the whole child, such as healthy eating, dressing and undressing, basic life skills like using a knife and fork are provided so as to generally develop their independence skills and readiness for future learning. Through the established transition processes, we make sure our children are prepared for the next chapter in their school life.